Date: January 16, 2013
Isra and Ishino head to the swamp in order to figure out more information regarding those that had been killed in the exams. Meanwhile, a spying visitor, Arisu, was doing the same. The three never crossed paths with one another, but each found something that may be of significance to their respective kage and employer.
"Real Blood in Blood Marsh: Investigation"
Some time has passed since the exams and still nothing has come out of Kirigakure regarding what's going on. The reality is that even they didn't know themselves. None of the Kiri shinobi participants or otherwise killed anyone and this was a concern for Yuge as much as it was for the village and all who dwelled in it. Isra intended to get something out of it and came straight to the Marsh to figure things out. She enlisted the help of one other to find clues that would lead to something, whatever it may be. The Marsh, at this point, was for the most part cleaned up, but it's entirely possible that some things were missed.
"Alright, so we have to figure out what's went on here. We lost some of our own in this place and it's got my blood boiling something fierce. Whoever killed our shinobi will have to meet my blade and the wrath behind it."
Ishino was dressed in his 'work' outfit, that of the tailored suit, white gloves on, the works. He currently has Time Keeper out as well, the puppet carrying an umbrella spread out over them to avoid any potential rain. Ishino would nod in agreement to Isra. "I agree. Whoever tried to ruin what was a perfectly good peace attempt should be found and punished. You have Time Keeper and I, at your service, Swordswoman-san. I am strong at support, so between the two of us, we should be able to obtain at least some information." Ishino at the moment was using water walking where appropriate, keeping himself above the water as he did his level best to keep dry.. in a marsh. Ah well, some people are just like that.
Arisu had only a few days ago been asked to look into the issue… not by anyone in the Land of Water, or even the Land of Fire where she had once made her home… but by Sunagakure… It was supposed to be a secret that she was looking into the matter at all, lest she spook those involved… and so thus far she hadn't bothered asking anyone about the situation… Instead she had taken to the idea of moving straight to the scene of the crime… The Blood Marsh.
She admitted that she wasn't sure if she would find anything of any particular interest, she had already been here once before, before the exams had completed… but hadn't noticed anything particularly out of the ordinary, save for the occasional spirit haunting certain areas of the Marsh, which she had avoided during her stay during the exams.
At the moment… she was more or less invisible, existing purely as a chakra cloud as she slipped through the entrance of the Blood Marsh… If she had been able, she would have simply remained that way for her entire trip… but as it stood now, it was difficult to see properly without first manifesting eyes… And to keep up appearances, it was likely best to manifest herself a body along with them.
As soon as she was a decent distance past the entrance, she finally condensed into a visible, albiet slightly transparent body, standing atop one of the puddles as she turned slowly to look at her surroundings, her lips pressed together in frustration as she had noticed just how thoroughly the Marsh had been cleaned up…
So far, there was nothing to see in the marsh. The place had been cleaned up, so to speak. A great deal of the larger obstacles were taken away, but there were smaller ones that still needed tending to. A few helpers were around attempting to get to them, but for the most part the place was empty. Isra nodded in reply to Ishino before continuing forward into the place to figure out what it is that may have slipped past them. She saw what the bodies looked like. Someone was highly skilled in killing people as it almost went unnoticed by all, but medical examiners. Now the idea was to determine who did the trick. She's already surmised that people sneaked into the exams and she'd hate to think that some of the participants were actually much more highly skilled than what they let on. If that was the case, it'd be a failure on her part to not have noticed it.
She sought to go into places that could be considered remote and look into them, see if there was anything of significance left behind. "I intend to scour this place, but I think a good place to start is looking into areas where dead bodies were found. There may be something around there that can help us out."
Ishino would do his own slow search of the locale, a nod given in response to Isra when she commencted they should check where the bodies were found at. "A good thing to try and determine is where they were killed at. That's generally the best way to figure out what exactly is going on." He would follow on, keeping alert for anything that might happen around them, as well as studying the ground and general marsh area to try and sort out what was going on with those who were killed. Something unusual was definitely occurring. It was just a matter of figuring out what and where.
Arisu, from her place deeper in the Marsh, moved about, keeping an eye out for anything that might have been out of the ordinary… Was this the place where the bodies had been found? It struck her that they had probably been found all over… After a moment of glancing around, Arisu changed her tactics, beginning to search through the water instead of the ground above the water… Ordinary shinobi may have wished to avoid reaching into the murky depths, due to the possible presence of predators, though Arisu had fewer fears in that regard… Should something attempt to bite or sting her, it would have not been a horrible experience for someone who was already dead.
So far, she had apparently not noticed the fact that anyone else had entered the Marsh at all, having been unable to see them clearly as she no doubt went right on by as a cloud of chakra earlier… There was a decent chance that she wouldn't notice them until they were already upon her.
The murky depths are always a good place to check. The waters can grow to be deep sometimes. Deep enough to hold bodies. It'd be a sloppy tactic for someone wanting to keep things secret, but then again, it does make a statement. There is a chance that this person did not seek to hide the bodies, perhaps indicating a threat the likes of which Kirigakure can't handle.
So far, there aren't any predators as a lot of those are deeper in the swamp, so at most, there are birds and amphibians roaming about. Some birds appear to have found something around here, at least, those carnivorous sort. They fly around the water, thinking something is there, but it's nothing they can obtain just yet.
Isra and Ishino would eventually happen upon an area that has been marked off for the express purpose of examination. If there was evidence to be found, it couldn't be tampered with or disrupted by people. They'd taken to the trees, the area shadowed by the dense canopy and a good place to make an easy target due to how dark some areas grew to be sometimes. Without sunlight being a factor, something could very well be hidden here.
Ishino would keep alert. This place was known as dangerous because it was dangerous afterall. He'd move along with Isra at her guidance. His attention on the surroundings, keeping track of details. Time Keeper being out, had that subtle ticking, the comforting tone of an old grandfather clock within a home sounding out each second of time passed. They needed to find something. Hopefully Isra would be able to pick up details that were not seen before. Ishino himself was not having much luck on sorting out what was going on, other than the animals having something they want. Time Keeper would be used to check that location, maybe a shinobi wouldn't want to go there, that doesn't mean that the puppet had any issue.
Arisu looked curiously toward the carnivorous birds who seemed to be quite interested in a specific place in the water, and calmly stepped over. Her chakra cloud moved deeper into the water, feeling around for anything that might have interested the birds in that area, spreading out to try and feel for anything in the surrounding water as well. She did her best to cover as much water as possible, seeking things both floating between the surface and the ground below, and the ground itself for any clues.
After a moment or two she would even glance at the birds, trying to place the particular species to determine if any of them might give a clue as to what she should be looking for under the water… it was entirely possible that they were only looking for fish… and that would have been a colossal waste of time for poor Arisu…
"So, what do you specialize in?" Isra inquired. "I'm not sure what it is that you do, but it may or may not help us," she offered while trying to weigh her options here. She wanted to utilize whatever she had available to figure this all out. "I work with seals and this nifty thing," she pats the blade strapped to her back. "I also lean towards water jutsu. I'm Isra, by the way. Uzumaki Isra…"
On the other side of this swamp, the birds that were flying around were definitely of the sort that took to carrion. There was something under the water that took their interest. Problem is, it was too heavy for them to get to. They'd need the help of something else to move it up to the water's surface to pick from.
All that feeling around would lead to the feeling of cloth and even further, skin. Looks like there was truly something down here, but it was weighed down by reeds and such that had it tangled.
"Doihara Ishino." He'd sweep into a formal bow with a smile towards Isra. "I have heard of you, at the very least, Uzumaki-san. The wielding of the blade is not something done casually, even if there was no ceremony due to the exams. As for my capabilities, I am adept at genjutsu. I use Time Keeper for assistance in that, as well as some scroll work. Overall, the two of us has been rather successful in our missions, although I am always seeking to become stronger and to do more for Kirigakure, hai?" He'd look about again, shrugging slightly. "I'm not sure we're really going to find anything here.. the dump spot does not seem to be the kill spot and unfortunately due to the amount of combat that is associated with the exams, the combat spot was most likely cleared off by mistake, hmm?"
Arisu frowned a moment, staring at the murky surface for several moments before she began to manifest once again, beneath the water's surface as a collection of hands, grasping at the reeds and making an effort to pull them away in order to bring the body to the surface… assuming it truly was a body. She had one of the hands come to the surface with the reeds, allowing Arisu to get a good look at whatever was holding it down to begin with, just in case there was something odd about them that she might have noticed. Any information was, afterall, useful information…
"Ah, genjutsu. Anything else you might have up your sleeve? I ask only because I'm going to need something a little more physical than that," Isra smirks as she sets about examining the area. The trees have an odd rustic red color due to the swamp's red coloring. It's a good way to hide blood, especially if it manages to dry and blend in with the environment. There is something to be found here. Signs of a fight did occur…many fights really, but there's something that stands out in the midst of this all.
There's a kunai lodged into a tree branch, singled out and out of place from the rest of the battle signs. At most, the vast majority would end up in the water or at least the lower halves of the tree.
It most certainly was a body that Arisu found. Bloated from exposure to the water, but a body nonetheless. It would appear this individual put up a fight against the attacker and made off with a good prize. Still clutched in his grasp was a forehead protector.
Ishino would nod towards Time Keeper. "I am adept at attacks and defenses with Time Keeper. I have recently been able to deploy high poison attempts.. a stronger, more lethal poison than what most use, with good effect. Not all of my capabilities are just genjutsu. I simply happen to be adept at it as well." Ishino would point towards the Kunai then. "There. Considering the general area of combat is down here.. one thrown up there is odd. I think we may of just found our first clue, Uzumaki-san. Shall I retrieve it, or do you wish to?"
Arisu considers the body for several moments… she assumes that the reeds are unimportant, and so places them off to the side on a patch of dry land before reaching out to tear the forehead protector away, studying it for a moment. The forehead protector itself did not mean anything to her. It was a prize to be sure, but it was circumstantial at best… There was no proof that it belonged to the killer. She frowned, and placed the forehead protector next to the reeds before moving the body next to all of them, to check and see if there were any signs that the body had been killed by the same person who had killed the others… or if it had been more of an accidental drowning.
It's true that a forehead protector isn't much considering the style in which the bodies were taken care of. It's clear that all of them had extensive knowledge of the human body, enough that initially, any damage would be hidden from sight, but in this guy's condition, all the damage has risen to the surface. All signs of internal damage had been pushed to the surface as blood pooled in areas where the damage occured. There weren't any telling signs on the body itself, probably even harder to determine now that it's been bloated, but it matches what has been determined before. That forehead protector had the symbol for Iwagakure on it.
Back in the forest, Isra would be giving the go ahead to Ishino to check on the kunai while taking into account his abilities. She'd still remain on the ground, thinking of using her weapon to her advantage. Removing Shibuki from her back, she proceeded to swing the blade and send the scroll paper flying toward the water where it'd explode on the water's surface and send it flying into the air in all directions. Eventually, the water would settle, but some water would be dropping from mid air for no reason… In other words, there was wire around here. This area was trapped.
Ishino would nod at the go ahead, Time Keeper promptly clattering as it'd head upward into that tree. The movement was extremely subtle by Ishino that got the puppet to go as he wanted. Settling by the kunai, the first thing checked for was traps. Seconds would tick past, enough time to determine if it was rigged, before it'd be retrieved and Time Keeper would come back to Ishino and Isra.
Arisu considers the forehead protector for a moment or two longer… The fact that the body had clearly been savaged in a manner that would not have been immediately obvious at the time of death. She could not remember if there were any contenders from Iwagakure in the area during the exams, she knew that she had never met any… but that didn't mean that they hadn't been there at all. She would have to get her hands on a list of those involved in the exams during the portion of the exams that had taken place in the Blood Marsh, and see which ones had been from Iwagakure, and had survived the entirety of the exams. For now, the evidence favored that someone from Iwagakure had been responsible for the deaths… and that would be one thing to inform her employers about at least. With a sigh she picked the forehead protector back up and tossed it back into the water… following it up by pressing the body into the water, with the reeds resting on top of it… with any luck, nobody would suspect that someone had freed the body, so much as the reeds had finally just given way, and the body floated to the surface… the birds would probably eat most of the evidence anyway. With her investigation finished here for the time being, Arisu unmanifested, heading back for Kirigakure proper for the time being… She still had more to investigate, but she didn't need anything else from here for now.
"Traps," she remarked. What would be discovered from the kunai is that it was part of a trap that had already been triggered and killed the one who pulled it. The wires came from all directions and sliced the body up and reset in a different position in order to catch anyone else that may come through here and possibly discover any evidence. "Hm. These took time to set up. I think we should have a specialist squad come in here and disarm them and any others. It appears that there's been more than one way these people have been killed," she sighs. "We need to report this back." They didn't discover anything, but they may on their way through the rest of the swamp.
Leaving it alone when he realized it was part of the trap, Ishino would nod in agreement with Isra. Time Keeper was drawn back to him and they'd fall in step with Isra, heading further along in that swamp. While the initial find was interesting, especially the unique use of the wires, this was not consistent with what the med nin had found on those killed. No normal outward signs.. a wire trap didn't match that. There had to be something else. Considering the trap was still there and active, he was keeping alert so they wouldn't fall into anything else.
It wouldn't be long before the marshlands and swamp would be looked into, some areas bare and others filled with information to take back. Speaking of information, the duo would find themselves within the area Arisu left previously. The body was well within view for them to look at and observe. "Hey, look here," she remarks. "This body is here and…" She paused and looked toward the forehead protector that was nearby. "Huh. Could you look into this body for me. You know poisons, right? Maybe you'll know the signs and such to look for. Assuming this person was poisoned."
Nodding at the request, Ishino moved forward with Time Keeper. The body studied carefully up close as the puppet was used to manipulate the corpse. It was interesting looking closer at the reeds that.. something? someone? had pulled on them it seems. The reeds set aside on a clearer area, the body would be carefully studied, trying to determine if any points of entry would result in poisoning as Isra had asked him to look for. He was trying to be through, the seconds ticking past in his study of the body. Sometimes, time just had to go through on it's own while working on such a detailed issue.
Time did tick by and it offered nothing in return, unfortunately. No poison was found, but there were some visible markings of pooled blood on the bloated body. Isra was observing the forehead protector she picked up from the water and looked it over with some disdain. "Hm." She looked back at Ishino. "I think we should head back. We have all that we need for now," she offers. We'll take what we have back with us."